This week, my husband headed out on a boys’ trip with one of our best friends to Montana to hunt with his dad (for a week in the snow). (His dad retired out there over 20 years ago.) Tom hasn’t been hunting since high school, maybe. He works hard and deserves a trip to do something that he wants to do, to have a little fun, to relax, not have the stresses of home, a break, a chance to just be “him”.
That is all wonderful, but that is not the same dialogue that I use with myself. I haven’t had a girls’ trip for more than a few days ever. I’ve had opportunities, but I think my “mom guilt” took over, especially that “stay at home mom” guilt. I tell myself that I don’t deserve it. We can’t afford it. I’m not worthy. I rather be with my family. I shouldn’t want to be without them. How will they ever survive without me? What kind of mom am I that I would ever choose to be somewhere else? I bet most moms might be able to relate. It’s the same voice that tells us, we shouldn’t go out to dinner with our friends, gotta be there to put the kids to bed; we can’t pay full price for those shoes, though we really love them; we don’t deserve a fancy dress, etc. Why do I have one dialogue for him and a different one for me? Why don’t I tell myself the same things. Luckily over the years, as I have had more birthdays (and, I admit, probably because my kids have had more birthdays, too). I have realized that I do deserve to go get that pedicure; color my hair; buy those shoes for full price (I admit, that one is a little hard for me, still); and I deserve a trip to refresh and recharge my batteries; a chance to get away.
I have been fortunate enough in the last few years to be able to go on the women’s retreats that our church offers. My first retreat was last minute, because it had filled and one of the ladies was not able to go. Since then I have made a point to go. Last year, I even had a little beach trip with the ladies as we made plans for the women’s retreat this past spring. I have to tell you, I feel like a new mom, a new wife, a new woman, a new person. I feel more like “me”. I am sure that it was partially due to the beach, because that is totally my spirit animal, but it is, also, due to the people that I have been lucky enough to surround myself with.
Dad’s have a tough job, but so do we as moms. I have been on both sides, staying home for 17+ years, where some days, I only talked to my babies (due to deployments or work trips) and to now where I have worked full time for 2 years. Neither is an easy job to do all of the time. Some days are wonderful, you know the days that your children are angels and everything goes right. Some days can be tough, though, when nothing goes right. It is okay to take a break from that and remember who you are and where you are headed, maybe even discovering who you want to be. Self care is so important so that we don’t burn out.
And good news for you if you need a little trip. We have set our tentative date for our next women’s retreat. We are heading back to Sandbridge again next year, the weekend of March 13th-15th, 2020. Be sure to put it in your google calendars. Next month, we will begin collecting a $50 deposit to hold your spot. It would be a nice Christmas present, *hint*hint*. Be sure to join the Facebook group for the Women’s Connection at Wright’s Chapel to keep up with the latest. Spots will be limited. Invite your girlfriends to room with you. I can’t wait to see you there.